Why I’m Starting to Love Starbucks


About 8 years ago I spent a summer traveling with a camp around the west coast of the United States.  Throughout our travels, we would stop off at rest areas to fill up with gas and junk food.  The most popular stops were always the ones with a Starbucks inside.   Everybody was crazy about the Frapachinos or whatever they are called but I was never really into that, particularly because of the $5.00 price tag but also because of the sugar and calorie content.  At one of the stops, I was exhausted beyond belief and needed a quick caffeine fix.  I decided to see what everyone was going crazy over and I bought a cup of Starbucks coffee.  The bitterness of the coffee and the price left me with a very bad taste in my mouth for the company.

I recently started to gain respect for the company when I heard about their new website www.mystarbucksidea.com where they let their fans post their ideas for the company and let everyone else vote on them.  I thought this was genius because it created a 2 way conversation between the company and the fans, it helped them increase brand awareness and it let everyone else do their market research for them for free.  Because of all of this, I decided to give Starbucks another chance. 

A week ago I went to a local Starbucks to get some writing done.  My local shop acts as a home office to dozens of people in the community and I figured that I would give it a try.  While I was writing, I needed to look something up online but to get online I needed an account with one of their wireless partners.  I asked someone sitting at my table and he said that If I was a Starbucks reward member, I could get 2 hours of free wireless access per day as long as my rewards card has been active within 30 days.

I went to buy a rewards card for $5.00 since I figured that the wireless access alone was worth the money.  When I purchased the card, I was told that I would also get a free squirt of syrup in my coffee whenever I wanted and free refills of my coffee.  I used the internet and went home a happy camper.

A couple days ago I got a post card in the mail that could be redeemed for a free drink at Starbucks, as bonus for being a rewards member.  One drink alone can be worth $5.00 which would make my original purchase more than worthwhile. 

To sum it up, for $5.00, I got:

2 hours of free wireless access per day for as long as my card is active.

Free syrup in my coffee (about a $0.30 value per squirt).

Free Refills of my coffee (value depends on how thirsty I am).

Free drink of my choice (value of up to $5.00)


And Starbucks:

Earned themselves a new fan.